Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Great for soup

Used it for my soup and it kept the liquid clear. An easy clean up with all my herbs ending in the trash, also meant the pot was easier to clean as well. I have never used cheesecloth before, but will from now on.

Disclosure: Product sent for an honest review

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cute book about stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things

Harry's Hair is a hilarious trip through various hair styles and the effect they have on the wearer. Harry had bed head and is going to be late for an appointment. He combs his wild hair in several styles, from Napoleon to the Beatles, with a short rhyme to briefly explain the style. Whether it's his Grandpa's comb back or Elvis's pompadour, Harry tries it and then discards it for the next. This is an adorable book about exploration and trying new things. The snappy ending was a perfect bow to this lovely gift of a story. The illustrations are crisp and funny. This is a great little book about stepping outside your comfort zone.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Love the series

Bernard Cornwell's books are timeless tales of an anti hero bucking the system and using his smarts to outwit the folks who feel superiority is based on both wealth and birth. I have been reading these books for over ten years now, and Sharpe's struggle through the ranks, his courage and ingenuity have been entertaining as well as illuminating. The Sharpe series is about the birth of the modern British army. His battles scenes are told through a telescopic lens that places the reader in the middle where they can see the carnage, feel the adrenaline laced fear, the insecurities, as well as the stark realization that the commitment to his fellow soldiers is the only way out. Sharpe should not have been a success. He is little more than a criminal, running from a murder charge, can't sit a horse, borderline illiterate, yet he has a deep rooted sense of morality, a natural affinity for strategy as well as a six sense in understanding a situation, reading it and finding solutions. I love reading about the way he peels back the layers to reveal and then destroy the corruptness that sullies the noble ideals that are the core of his existence. I've learned a lot from the Sharpe books. Cornwell's crisp writing is clear and concise. Sharpe's Havoc joins a superior series about a superior officer and I do indeed hope he and Harper will march again.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Jasper the Kingmaker

Comprehensive and detailed biography of Jasper Tudor, the uncle of Henry VII and brother in law to Margaret Beaufort. Jasper Tudor was the unsung hero of Henry's battle to take the throne. "The importance of Jasper's tutelage of his nephew has only recently been fully appreciated by historians. While Henry's mother, Margaret Beaufort, was an indispensable agent of his interests in England, Jasper was his political mentor in the years spent in exile."
Breverton discusses both Edmund and Jasper's Welsh background, their descent from Welsh royalty, to the upbringing in the court of their half brother, Henry VI. He recounts their elevation to the premier earls of the land, second only to the royal dukes. Clearly Henry VI wanted to protect himself by ennobling and enriching his closest and trusted family members. He furthered Edmund's wealth, by pairing him with the richest and most influential heiress in England at the time. We all know that Edmund did not live to see the son born of that union, and Jasper was thrust into the role of protector and guardian of both Henry and his mother. Jasper took custody of Henry when they made their escape to France, shaping him into the man that would eventually become king. "Henry and Jasper both believed Henry was the chosen one, destined for glory. Henry was possibly the first king to leave a full Treasury, and his three children were linked to the other royal dynasties of Europe." Not a bad legacy.
Jasper Tudor was a kingmaker. Born in secrecy, hidden away because of the stigma of his parent's union, Jasper Tudor accepted his destiny, putting his whole life on hold to take on the dangerous cause of his nephew. Breverton points out that the success of this mission, reunited England with Wales, placing the descendants of the native people on the rightful throne where they belong.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Monday, December 22, 2014

Colorful recounting of Jacobean England

Brilliant recounting of Jacobean England. Peter Ackroyd details the rise and fall of the Stuart kings. He delves into the background of each king, describing the personalities and quirks that illustrated each of their reigns. The road to revolution is paved by the monarchy's growing distance with the population and disconnect with reality. From James I appointments of his Scottish favorites, to Charles I misguided sense of divine influence, the Glorious Revolution took root. Ackroyd writes of the times and the mindset of the people. His sumptuous descriptions are rich and colorful. His books are a window of an era, masterfully and wonderfully retold, leaving the reader with an understanding that events don't just happen, but are the outcome of our own deeds.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Friday, December 19, 2014

"Oh calamity!"

This book started like a slow moving train weighted down with a heavy cargo. There were a lot of characters, and it felt hard to keep up with all the gossipy quips of the catty mothers. With relentless speed, the momentum built, finally taking off to a predictable destination- but it didn't matter. The ride was terrific. By the time I got to know them, the characters lively quirks made them so well defined that when the final chapters arrived, I felt like they were my own neighbors. I loved this book. The mothers were wonderfully neurotic, professional micro managers squeezing details of everyday life into slots that please their well ordered and compulsive minds. I have known several of them, and recognized the little lies that are used to keep the appearance of perfection in tact. Every stereotype was there, from earth mother, to the helicopter corporate mom's and their minions who always manage to manipulate the school. Jane was sweet, and I loved her growth. Madeline angst over her teenage daughter, her warrior heart , her insecurities made her endearingly real. Celeste, well, all I am going to say is I know a Celeste or two, and have seen them struggle the narrow line of real or imagined, love and hate, and the lies they use to survive.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Introduces the Tudor court to young readers

Henry VIII's court was a lace of mystery and secrets. Wendy Dunn creates an atmospheric coming of age book about Katherine Carey, Anne Boleyn's niece. Locked in typical teenage struggle with her mother and stepfather, Kate yearns to live at court with her glamorous aunt, the Queen on England. Tantalizing tidbits of gossip tease her, but she is young and innocent and unaware of the storm brewing in the troubled court. Like a flower unfolding, Katherine slowly learns the secrets of both her and her brother's birth, her mother's sordid past, and her growing role of importance in her aunt's life. Maturity comes with responsibility, and Kate proves her bravery as she steps into history to take her role at her aunt's side as Anne Boleyn meets her fate. Great book to introduce the Tudors to young readers. Uncomplicated and written for teenagers, The Light in the Labyrinth is relatable, as well as irresistible.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wonderful collection of stories recreating the last days of Pompeii with realism

Perceptive and beautiful collection of short stories strung together like a pearl necklace, each one bringing the reader closer to a tragic and combustible conclusion. Six writers collaborated to highlight the last day of Pompeii, with personal stories of a group a residents from different walks of life. Some based on factual people, others imagined and wrought from the skeletal remains, each tale is powerful and masterly written. Pliny the elder, as well as his nephew, Pliny the Younger are given a backstory as to why only the General left the safety of his home. The story is craftily written, the angst of a teenager finding his adult voice a compelling read. Another coming of age story is of a young bride, torn between her love for a handsome, young artist and the older man her parents arrange for marriage. Each story is connected, the characters sharing plot lines as well as similar fates. Poignant, and perhaps my favorite, is the story of the family destined to be entombed together. Each writer captures the stark panic upon the realization that this is no ordinary tremor. Some fight their fate, other rush to it knowing the futility of resisting. Whether aristocrat or slave, each has hopes and dreams that hang on nature's whims. Though there are survivors, they are scarred forever, their lives altered in ways they could never anticipate. Either way, this is a powerful collection of stories that haunt the reader about an event that took place two thousand years ago. Ultimately it is a tale of love and courage, loyalty and the will to survive.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tender, sweet, and wickedly funny

Wickedly funny journey of self discovery, This Is Where I Leave You is a week long visit with the family that is the stuff of nightmares. Judd Foxman's walks in on his wife and boss in his bed, ending his decade long marriage, as well as his career. His father has died, and requested his wife and four children sit shiva for seven days. Bruised and broken, he finds himself sitting on the hard shiva chair, in the midst of his snarky family, where secrets surface, rocking his world and making him reevaluate the relationships with his siblings as well redefine the truths that have been the backbone of his life. Jonathan Tropper taps in on the disconnect of our culture, the failure of communication, the selfish quest for self gratification. Everyone is a loser, each one abandoning the hopes and dreams of youth, caught in a cosmic twilight zone of never wanting to grow up. Paul is bitter after losing his chance at professional baseball due to a grievous injury, Wendy yearns for her first love; pinched out when he became disabled, Phillip the overindulged baby of the family refuses to grow up, and lastly Judd mourns the perfect life he lost, refusing to acknowledge it was nothing but an illusion, after all. Throughout the book, the distant siblings bond, learning the blood is indeed thicker than water, and while they may not understand themselves, their family knows and loves them no matter what. This was a marvelous book. Funny, fast moving, and achingly sweet. This is a story about loyalty and love, redemption and forgiveness. Sometimes we need a little help from our loved ones to help ourselves.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Good News!!!

I won two awards from NABE for my books, "If You Were Me and Lived In Peru" and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kindle Fire AND Cash Giveaway!

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born."Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Remarkable Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. "Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience" Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series.
Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be. 

Her non-fiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico" has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca's Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in ...France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in...France for best in children's non fiction literature 2013. 

Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

Just in time for the beginning of the holiday seasons, Carole P. Roman is generously giving away two wonderful prizes for her readers. Grand prize is an Kindle Fire with a second prize to another winner of $100 Paypal.  

Not actual Kindle Fire, this is for example only.

Would you like to win one of these? Well, you could! Enter in the Rafflecopter below. Please make sure to read the disclosure carefully. Good luck!


This giveaway has been arranged by Away We Go Media on behalf of Carole P. Roman who is responsible for this giveaway. 

This giveaway is open to 18+ years of age and US only. The giveaway will run from November 26, 2014 at 12 Midnight MST through December 13, 2014 at Midnight MST. There will be two winners and will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.com.

NOTE: The first entry on the Rafflecopter is mandatory. You must enter your full name, address, and email in order to be eligible for this giveaway. However, this sole entry does not constitute a win for you as you must enter at least one other entry. If you do not follow this rule you will be automatically disqualified. All entries will be verified. Your address will not be sold to any third party and only viewed and used by Away We Go Media for the purposed of the winners chosen.

Thank you for entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Theresa is an oracle

I enjoyed this book. In no nonsense fashion, Theresa Caputo demystifies angels and the after life. Her reaffirming optimism is both refreshing and infectious. As you read her book, layers of what separates and complicates life, disappear and the basic rules of humanity take its place. She urges society to strip away its cynicism, do the right thing and let our "inner" angel glow and grow. Yes, we all have a bit of stardust in our hearts, that grows stronger as we learn to accept it and move in the right direction. She makes sense. I have seen Theresa, had a reading, and it changed my life. If goodness is an energy, then Theresa is filled with it. This book may have opened my eyes about a lot of things, but more importantly, it healed my heart.

Happy Reading,
Carole P. Roman

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brilliant biography of Joan of Arc

Lovingly documented biography of Joan of Arc. From the very first chapter Kathryn Harrison debunks myths and demystifies Joan's life by describing 15th century France and how external events shaped the Maid of Orleans's outlook. I was surprised to learn of Joan's not so humble, but rather middle class background. Harrison weaves a stunning tapestry of her life, by blending in the religious, political, and social aspects. Each chapter builds the outline of a quiet girl until she matures into an extraordinary figure prepared to sacrifice anything for her calling. Harrison captures the astounding courage and determination of a teenager willing to risk everything, from her very life to her immortal soul by breaking every social and religious code. She also discusses the many ways Joan has been portrayed throughout history, her narrative exposing the difference between fiction and fantasy. Fascinating and compelling, it a stunning study of a extraordinary teenager who bucked authority and stayed true to her heart.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Great book, great characters, great writing...

Joanna Bourne does not write typical romance books. She captures the flavor of an age, the essence of danger, then lures you into a twisty, winding road of a tale, that captures all of your interest and refuses to let you go. Thomas Paxton and Camille Leyland are survivors of the revolution, trained as children to the infamous Cache, a secret school for children to be trained in the art of subterfuge and espionage. A chance meeting brings this combustible pair together where they must set aside their distrust and recapture the loyalties of their youth that bind them. Camille is being blackmailed, and Thomas is torn by both his need to protect her, as well as the new country he has betrayed. This is romance for grown ups, without simpering misses, and silly plots. Don't expect stale cake of Almacks and bored aristocrats. In James Bond fashion, the heroes are almost indistinguishable from the villains. London is gritty, the players experienced in the art of spying. I loved this book. In a sea of boring Regency romps, this stands out like tiger lily among the daisies. Joanna Bourne's books keep you reading all night long, because you can't put down the book. Her stories are never predictable. I keep checking Amazon for her next publication. Keep writing, Joanna! You have saved me from giving up the genre.

Happy Reading! 
Carole P. Roman

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NEW Giveaway!

I recently published new books for my "Captain No Beard" series and "If You Were Me and Lived In..." series. These two series teach important life's lessons and help children to imagine places and things outside of their own space.

Captain No Beard and his crew of loyal pirates heave anchor for another adventure, this time in the icy waters of the Arctic. Captain No Beard's steering a course due north, sailing by the light of the North Star. Everyone on the crew wonders what the captain's up to, especially as he gets embarrassed when they ask. When the captain finally admits his plan, the crew discovers he plans to steal the aurora borealis, the beautiful northern lights that brighten the arctic sky. They're all shocked. They may be pirates, but even they know stealing is bad. Besides, how can anyone steal the lights from the sky? A charming, engaging tale about doing what's right.

 In If You Were Me and Lived in…Greece , early learners get a taste of what their life would be like if they lived in Greece while being introduced to the birthplace of democracy. This book is the latest installment of the educational series about the cultures of the world that speaks to young children about the topics that interest them, such as the foods people eat, the names of boys and girls, and the activities that children their age living in a foreign land are likely to engage in. This exciting visit to Greece also introduces the important concept of democracy to children and highlights some of the other cultural contributions that Greece has made to Western civilization. Basic information is offered in a playful way that won’t overwhelm children.
Carole P. Roman is giving away a Kindle copy of each of these books and $200 Amazon to one very lucky winner. If you would like to win this, enter in the Rafflecopter below for your chance.
Disclosure: I am responsible for prize shipment.
The winner will be paid in US dollars only and it may take up to four week to receive payment.  Winner must have a Kindle to receive the book.

This giveaway is open from October 28th at Midnight MST to Nov. 5th Midnight MST. This giveaway is open worldwide. Winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter and must respond to an email sent within 48 hours or forfeit prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Scientific and well thought out book

Really well thought out novel that deals with many issues from the quest for answers to the morality of changing human nature. Lawrence Lapin clearly knows what he's talking about when he tackles disease, genetics, and our impact on the earth. Although the characters feel vaguely stereotyped, there is action, adventure, the romance of a deeply rooted marriage, and the question of ethics all crafted into one storyline. It had the same feel of a Dirk Pitt (Clive Cussler) storyline, but with a lot more information. A deep read for those whose interests lie in the direction of what could happen when we tamper with humanity.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Enjoyable Ah Ha moment!

Jack Mack knows how to tell a story. With just one word, or really a sound, he relates all the different ways the frog uses it to tease, be scared, and finally find relief. We had a great time reading it, and the beauty of the book is once the child knows the word, they can read it too. We had fun trying to decide which type of Ah Ha moment little frog was having.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Perfect bag for holding a manduka

This is a fantastic, high quality yoga mat bag! I love it. It's not only large enough to hold my manduka mat but the straps feel durable and strong enough that they won't break. I also love the air-holes on the side so that the mat can breathe. I will definitely be referring my colleagues and students to purchase this bag. 

Disclosure: Item received in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The After House. It's The Perfect Halloween Read!

Michael Phillip Cash has done it again with a charming book called The After House. Set in scenic Cold Spring Harbor in Long Island, it involves Remy Galway, a newly divorced mom trying to rebuild her shattered life. From the start, her six year old daughter feels the presence of something in the house, but Remy tries her best to lighten the gloomy home. Little do they know that they share the house with the spirit of a crusty whaling captain who is not entertained with the feminine changes to his house. The way he interacts with the humans is both hilarious as well as poignant. 
True to his form, Cash's characterizations shine. Reading one of his books is like visiting with old friends. Characters from Stillwell, and The Flip make return appearances, but the book stands alone for first time readers. While it is a ghost story, and does possess the necessary chills, Cash's books are really about human wants and needs. While The Hanging Tree brought home the point that we define our destiny, Stillwell stressed that we don't have to be the victims of it. The After House implies that everyone, dead or alive, comes into our lives for a reason that shapes the outcome of our time here. 
It is well written, a page turner and the Cash twist at the end leaves the reader with a satisfied feeling. 

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Delightful and restful

Delightful and organic scent of lavender to melt away stress. I placed a few drops in the laundry with my sheets and the whole batch had the faint fragrance reminiscent of fields in Provence. Sprinkle of basement carpet, where I do yoga- and the musty odor of indoors is gone. Very powerful, and a mere drop goes a long way.

Carole P. Roman

Disclosure: I received this product for review. A favorable review was not required.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

This one's a keeper

Charming, sweet love story about a single mom trying to keep her head above water. Jess Thomas is struggling to keep her two children safe, while working as a house cleaner and in a pub. Her estranged and deadbeat husband lives far away and never helps. Desperate to improve her children's chances, she accepts help from the snobby and distant Ed Nicolls. On a wild journey to Scotland, they both drop their guard enough to realize that they enjoy each other's company, and they fit together like a perfect equation.
I must admit, I was not as crazy about this book when I started it. Neither Ed or Jess captured my sympathy, until their relationship blossomed. Their developing love, and the relationship between Ed and the children tugged at both my funny bone as well as my heart. Jojo Moyes knows how to hook a reader and keep them turning pages. Her books are a refreshing delightful read. I loved this book. It's a keeper.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Refreshing look at some of the most infamous royal marriages in history

Leslie Carroll has put together a wonderfully researched book about a dozen royal marriages that would have rocked todays scandal magazines. Throughout history, royals have been used as pawns to make advantageous marriages that would create economic and territorial alliances. Many of them like Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI, or Mary Tudor and Phillip of Spain are familiar stories. Others like Maria Carolina of Austria or the Medici Princesses are not as well known. However, all of the chapters are peppered with fascinating tidbits of information like the sumptuous clothing, to the over the top jewels, as well as the sexual and emotional relationships. Written with care to make it interesting, the breezy style makes for easy reading. This is an enjoyable book that manages to find old stories and refresh them with new insights and information. I particularly loved the chapter of Lady Jane Grey and the one on Louis XIII's marriage to Anne of Austria. Leslie Carroll breathes life into historical figures fleshing them into real people rather than the flat one dimensional characters we studied in school.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Monday, September 29, 2014

Elizabeth and the many women in her orbit and their influence

Comprehensive study about the women who surrounded and perhaps influenced Queen Elizabeth the First. Author Tracy Borman dissects every female relationship and the many ways their orbit intersected with the woman who ruled England. Usually we read about Cecil, Raleigh, Essex, Dudley and a host of males that revolved around the queen, the female's in her life are largely ignored. Borman starts with Ann Boleyn, and works though each woman from Kat Astley, to her many ladies in waiting, to show how their interaction played a role in Elizabeth's decisions. While we usually see Elizabeth as that larger than life warrior, who envisioned herself as a Renaissance prince, stories like the one of her stealing Lady Mary Howard's gaudy dress and wearing it despite it being too short for her, ruining it for the younger woman, presents the queen in a surprising new light- that of a jealous female not above petty spite, rather than the image of Gloriana she preferred.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Friday, September 26, 2014

Join Me At Storyteller's Campfire And Call In To Speak With Me At 7pm EST TODAY! Hope To See You There!

Join me today at 7pm EST at Storyteller's Campfire on BlogTalkRadio! Today, we will discuss my book, If You Were Me And Lived In...Kenya! Call in to ask questions or speak with me today at 7pm EST!!! Call In Studio Line: 310-982-4134. I hope you will join us!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NEW RELEASES!!! Now Available On Amazon!

Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis

Captain No Beard and his crew of loyal pirates heave anchor for another adventure, this time in the icy waters of the Arctic. Captain No Beard's steering a course due north, sailing by the light of the North Star. Everyone on the crew wonders what the captain's up to, especially as he gets embarrassed when they ask. When the captain finally admits his plan, the crew discovers he plans to steal the aurora borealis, the beautiful northern lights that brighten the arctic sky. They're all shocked. They may be pirates, but even they know stealing is bad. Besides, how can anyone steal the lights from the sky? A charming, engaging tale about doing what's right, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis is the latest installment in Carole P. Roman's award-winning pirate series. The first book, Captain No Beard—an Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life, received the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012 award and the Star of Remarkable Achievement. The series presents real-life problems in an imaginary setting and encourages discussion with both parents and educators

If You Were Me and Lived in...Greece: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World

It’s never too early to start teaching children about the world around them. In If You Were Me and Lived in…Greece , early learners get a taste of what their life would be like if they lived in Greece while being introduced to the birthplace of democracy. This book is the latest installment of the educational series about the cultures of the world that speaks to young children about the topics that interest them, such as the foods people eat, the names of boys and girls, and the activities that children their age living in a foreign land are likely to engage in. This exciting visit to Greece also introduces the important concept of democracy to children and highlights some of the other cultural contributions that Greece has made to Western civilization. Basic information is offered in a playful way that won’t overwhelm children.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Not just for shoes

Not so great for shoes, but I did find it terrific for crafts. I put it in the playroom on a door and we stored glue sticks, glitters sticks and small items the kids play with when they come over. Keeps it organized and off the floor. Especially great for small places like my vacation home. See through compartment makes items easy to find.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Quick, fun read

Delightful collection of short stories much in the style of Erma Bombeck. Barbara Venkataraman includes the reader in her charming observation of daily tidbits. My favorite is the over accommodating hostess's dinner party that get shot to pieces by today's crazy dietary demands, or the silly clutter of unnecessary gadgets that take over our kitchens. Especially sweet, was the essay about the day she spends with her dad, who is slowly losing his memory. A quick read, it will make you smile, as her experiences are both familiar and funny.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Little Boo delivers a thrilling but non threatening build up for the little ones

Delightful story about a seed who is desperate to be scary. The wind advises the little seed to grow, and have patience. Soon enough, Little Boo turns into a Jack o Lantern and his dream is fulfilled. Great kid friendly celebration of the fall. Lovely illustrations. We enjoyed the build up to an age appropriate "scary " moment. My grandson loved it.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Friday, September 12, 2014

Useful for little girl's room

Great items for all those pesky barrettes and bows. I gave it to my daughter for my granddaughters array of hair essentials. The clear packaging made colors easy to find. She also put her small posts in there and told me it makes it easier to locate the tiny studs. With the hanger, it keeps small items safe from little hands.

*I received this item for an honest review.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

End of the cousin's war

Really well written story of Margaret Pole, ill fated cousin to Henry VIII's mother Elizabeth. Caught in the Cousin's war, or as it is known today as The War of the Roses, Margaret is the daughter of George Duke of Clarence, brother to the king and granddaughter of Warwick the Kingmaker. She and her brother are in line for the throne and seen as rivals by the victorious Henry Tudor. Her brother is imprisoned despite his simple nature, and eventually beheaded to prove to the Spanish that there is no threat to their daughter, Princess Catherine of Aragon's way to the throne, as the wife of Henry and Elizabeth's son Arthur. Confusing, yes, fascinating, without a doubt. Margaret is married off to an unimportant knight, thus leaving her buried and destitute in the country. Gregory takes the story from Margaret's lowest time to her rise under the new monarch Henry the VIII. Despite the fact that Catherine of Aragon's arrival caused the death of her brother, Margaret aligns herself with the princess becoming both friend and confidant. She makes a powerful enemy of Henry's VII 's mother , Margaret Beaufort when she colludes with Catherine, helping her in her quest to marry Henry the VIII. The story weaves through her precarious position in court, where a careless remark or an accident of birth can cause not only a person's downfall, but death. Gregory has a unique way of bringing Tudor England alive, letting us get familiar with the players, whether they were considered key or not. A reader is able to put faces to the names that have haunted history, the information of their existence so dim, their role seemingly unimportant, yet they lived and died for the politics of their country. I liked this book. Margaret Pole was a survivor, a thorny rose in the history of England. Someone who tried to grow under catastrophic circumstances, playing the courtiers game where the outcome of losers meant certain death. This is not a flowery book about living in Tudor England, yet Gregory imbues a real sense of the time, the terror of disease, the horrors of childbirth, a woman's helpless role in society. The King's Curse is allegedly the curse made by Elizabeth the queen in response to the death of her brothers, the princes in the tower. It was in essence the downfall for her own house. In the case of Margaret Pole, the King's horrible curse reflected right back to her, including anyone with Plantagenet blood as well in its carnage.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.

Happy Reading! 
Carole P. Roman

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Age shall not wither her...

I read the book a few weeks ago and was entertained for the night. While some of the humor pressed uncomfortable boundaries, I would push past the things I didn't find particularly funny until I found a "day" in her life that made me smile at her keen observations. Isn't life like that, though? Our years are filled with all different things, like a smorgasbord that we can pick and choose, and return to savor. I really liked Joan Rivers. Reading her book, was like a window into her fast paced world. The daily observations dragged me though her hectic schedule, the things that ticked her off, and the people she loved. I always knew I liked her. After all, she has been in my living room dozens of times throughout my life from the time I was a little girl. Joan Rivers was only a year older than my mother. I remember rooting for her when she bravely tried to restart her life after it was shattered by the loss of her husband and her career at the same time. I watched as she reinvented herself in a hostile male dominated environment, creating a whole new industry of red carpet interviewers. It's hard to start over when you're looking at the backside of fifty, competing with fresh young faces. I admired that she always included her daughter, sharing her success and making it a family affair. It's hard to work with family, and they were gracious to each other. Lastly, I bless her for showing that older women can be important, productive, beautiful, and useful in our youth obsessed society. Joan Rivers was a first class act, who lived by her own example. While she did sometimes say something that made me squirm,(Yes, the Ann Frank parts were not my favorite), she was groundbreaking in her humor. So, if I had so suffer with one or two jokes that didn't work, the rest was worth it.

Carole P. Roman

Monday, September 1, 2014

Great book to discuss self acceptance as well as the hurt of bullying

Wonderful book about blocking negativity and learning to love yourself. This book was a jewel of a read with so many different ways to open discussions from bullying, to respect, to accepting who you are. Abena is a sweet little girl who's growing awareness of the negative comments of former playmates begins to sour her demeanor. Where she used to find pleasure in her African roots, now she resents anything about her culture. Her grandmother tells her stories about her own youth, as well as quotes her pastor, that "God doesn't make mistakes." She stresses the lesson that we have to find peace and happiness with who we are. Abena shakes off her resentments and when she goes to school the next day, she encounters another girl who faces similar problems. She passes along her lesson, and the girls find their happy place. Washington writes clearly, without sentimentality, but with bright dialog and great visuals. I felt like a fly on the wall in Abena's bedroom. This book transcends race, creed, or nationality. Any educator can broaden a discussion to encompass all types of prejudice. Whether it's body type, a physical challenge, or a person's background, intolerance hurts, ignorance is dangerous, and bigotry is a weapon that loses it's barb when a person is armored with self confidence.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Dark novel about the power of society of those who dare to be different

Interesting and atmospheric book about 17th century Amsterdam. Nella is a young bride to a wealthy merchant adjusting to big city life in Amsterdam. The marriage was arranged by her financially challenged mother and Nella is sent to live with her new husband's cold family. When the marriage remains unconsummated, Nella must discover the web of lies and secrets of the wealthy merchant house. Joannes Brandt is a kind man but an uninterested husband. Out of guilt, he buys his young wife a large cabinet that is an expensive replica of the very house they live in. Strange miniatures begin to arrive from an unknown craftsman that has chilling details. Will they unlock the mysteries of the gloomy home or foretell a devastating future? This book was as dark as a Dutch Masters' painting. The home was filled with anger, unfulfilled dreams, and secrets. Burton imbues a creepy tension as the novel rockets to it's combustive conclusion. Well written, with a flavor of its times, The Miniaturist is an fascinating window into the uber strict religious climate of 17th century Amsterdam, when anything that was different had to be hidden from society.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Peter Ackroyd knows how to write history

Peter Ackroyd knows how to write about history. Organized and easy to read, this is a comprehensive and interesting book about the Tudor dynasty. Just when you think there is nothing new, he blends more information seamlessly throughout the entire book. Concise, well written, lovingly researched, Ackroyd knows what to include and where to place it. If you are interested in history, this book is a must. If you love the Tudors, then add anything he writes to your library.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

Monday, August 18, 2014

When my kids and I were looking for an artist for the cultural series, we wanted to find someone who would mix media together for the final product.While Bonnie Lemaire takes the reader and their imagination on a flight of fancy, we wanted this series to be more concrete. We loved the way Kelsea drew children, and when I wrote to her I told her the importance of it not looking too cartoonish. We wanted realism mixed with ethnically correct features. The most important thing was we wanted to avoid stereotypes. Kelsea did all that and more.  She is respectful of all the customs and cultures. I loved the research she did to make things as correct as possible and present the country in an entertaining and beautiful way. 

Picking artists without ever speaking to them, or meeting in person was hard. Yet, the three illustrators I chose have a keen understanding of the product. They were willing to jump into my world and take a chance creating new characters to be embraced and loved by children. I am grateful for them taking me on and am please to let the the world know about it!


Kelsea Parks Wierenga graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2006. She has worked seven years as a professional illustrator and designer for CreateSpace.com, a Print On Demand book publisher in Charleston, South Carolina. Sometimes I’m a Fire-Breathing Dragon is an original story that Kelsea wrote, illustrated and published in 2010.
Kelsea is currently illustrating author Carole P. Roman’s cultural children’s book series available on Amazon.com. These informative and entertaining books detail every day life for kids living countries around the world including: Mexico, France, South Korea, Norway and many more. 
Kelsea is available for illustration and design work.